Businesses in Swansea are rolling out the welcome mat for football fans and visitors alike ahead of the Swans’ first ever home game in the Premier League.
Hundreds of Wigan fans are due to arrive in the city on Friday night and Saturday ahead of one of the most eagerly-anticipated games in the history of Swansea City FC.
And local hotels, tourism businesses, pubs and restaurants are seeing improvements in trade thanks to the increasing interest in the club’s Premier League status.
Swansea Council and the Welsh Government are also investing in initiatives to encourage visiting fans to stay on or return to the city another time with friends and family.
Chris Holley, Leader of Swansea Council, said: “Saturday is going to be an historic day for the history of sport in our city. Thanks to the Swans’ promotion to the Premier League we will have the chance to showcase our city to a world-wide audience throughout the football season.
“Together with our partners and alongside the work that’s being done by businesses across the city to promote themselves, Swansea Council is doing all it can to make the most of the Swans’ success.”
The launch of the Croeso Stand at the Liberty Stadium with its Visit Swansea Bay and Visit Wales livery is one of a number of ways the Council and Welsh Government is promoting the city as a great place to visit to a wider audience.
There’s also a major advertising campaign going on in London, the Midlands and the North West of England where many visiting fans and their families live that even includes tram panel advertising on the Midland Metro in Birmingham, along with advertorial in the Birmingham Post and direct a mailings to 15K households in the Birmingham area.
Ian Harding-Jones, general manager of the Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Swansea, said they had done very well out of bookings from visiting fans during the Swans’ charge to the Premier League last season and he was expecting more of the same this time.
“We’ve had a couple of Irish families with season tickets booked for home games through the season,” he said.
“But, when you think about it, away fans making a long trip to a new Premier League team are not going to drive four or five hours here and then back again on the same day.
“Because they’ll be visiting a club new to the Premier League, they’ll probably come down on a Friday night, have a look around, go to the match and possibly stay the Saturday night. I can see families making a weekend of it.”
Tony McGetrick, chair of Tourism Swansea Bay, said: “Local tourism businesses are really looking forward to showing visiting fans the sights of Swansea and our wonderful coastline. Whatever the result on the pitch this weekend, there will always be a warm welcome from us.”